Let's be honest. Sometimes we just eat without any thought, which some would argue is a great thing... it's called intuitive eating. But when eating what we want without any thought becomes a burden and goes against our health and physique goals, that's when we need to take a look at what we should be doing differently when it comes to what we consume.
Losing fat is not as tricky as people make it seem. Your body is like an adaptive machine that will adjust to the environment you put it in. Why do you think people are able to survive in impoverished living conditions with little food. Why do you think some people are able to eat "what they want" and not gain a bunch of weight.
Although genetics can play a role, most of it is about metabolic adaptation, meaning, your body will become conditioned to the things you do to it. So if you're not eating enough food, your body will learn to survive off of what it has and store body fat to make sure you have something to use for energy.
Or if you're eating too much fried food or processed sugar, your body will learn how to process those things and store the extra away as body fat which builds up over time and can cause future health issues.
So why not give your body a chance to use that store energy (aka body fat). Why not do it in a way that's healthy mentally AND physically?
The question after I propose that ideas is usually, " ok so what should I do to lose body fat."
But the question really should be "What should I NOT do when trying to lose body fat.
Well (drumroll please...)
- DON'T RESTRICT -
It's that simple!
Most people put themselves in the all or nothing frame of mind when it comes to trying to lost body fat. You think, well I'm just going to do away with the stuff I think is bad (like sweets, snacks and fried foods etc.), because that HAS to be the reason I'm not seeing change. Trust me that's not the reason!
In fact, having that restrictive mindset can actually put you in a worse position than when you started. It sets you up to think, ok -- I'm going to limit these foods until I reach my body goals.
That UNTIL is what gets you in trouble.
That's why you see people losing a bunch of weight/body fat and then gaining it right back. Or they end up with a crappy food relationship and they're only keeping their weight off because they tell themselves they can't have certain foods just to look the way they do.
We have to stop this thought process and start practicing moderation -- and most people will give you that advice with no action steps to help you do it. SO ... here's the best way to practice moderation realistically and get to the point where you can still eat what you want while reaching your goals.
1. Plan for balance
Plan for balance by including things into your daily or weekly routine that you enjoy. Example, when prepping your meals (if you don't already meal prep I recommend doing so to help you stay ready) add snacks to plan for a balance meal throughout the week. If you like chocolate, plan to have some chocolate as one of your snacks.
2. Stay educated
When you educate yourself on what you're consuming, you'll be able to make more informed decisions when it comes to the food you eat. When we just follow things blindly we could be causing more harm than good (read your labels).
3. Don't believe the hype
Every time you turn around there's another fad diet popping up. We live in a diet culture in America and new diets are set up to make other people money. You know why diets work, because they give you structure. They make you focus on your food vs. just eating at random. But what happens if you stop "dieting?" How do you live your normal day-to-day without putting pressure on yourself about not following the diet plan?
That's no way to live. It's not about dieting, it's about practicing moderation and understanding the type of fuel your body needs.
So stop setting yourself up for failure by restricting your food choices and start opening up your mind to these moderation practice steps.
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